Without a doubt, the D-Bowe show will be playing for a long time in Kansas City. Tony Gonzalez only had thirty-three receptions and 368 yards in his rookie season, which doesn't even come close to Bowe's 70 reception, 995 yard rookie year. Bowe became our no. 1 receiver (talent-wise anyway) the moment Eddie Kennison went down in the first game of the season and silenced many of his critics who didn't believe in another first round Chiefs wide receiver. Bowe was a major reason that this past season was actually watchable and he enters the 2008 season as our no. 1 receiver.
Impact in 2008: Throughout the off-season and into training camp, Bowe should only improve as he and Brodie Croyle become more comfortable together. To a certain degree, Bowe's development will be dependent on Croyle's. Bowe set the standard high in '07 and with the addition of another top-notch receiver, there's no reason he won't consistently go over 1000 yards receiving for the majority of his career.
Parker enters his fifth season next year as the Chiefs no. 2/3 wideout. His time to prove himself better than that has pretty much passed. Different KC area writers have tentatively predicted breakout seasons for Parker last year and the year before but he hasn't developed much beyond the twenty-four catch type season he had in '07. This past year, Parker was good for about a first down a game, which was a significant drop off from 2006 and 2005 when he converted thirty-three and twenty-eight first downs respectively. In my opinion, him and Jeff Webb are at about the skill level.
Impact in 2008: Parker will more than likely be around in 2008, despite many of you calling for his head. The bottom line is that teams need players like him. Not every wideout is a superstar. Jeff Webb will compete for his spot so Parker, for the moment at least, slides in by default. His salary cap value for 2007 was under $1 million, making him fairly inexpensive to keep around. The emergence of Dwayne Bowe obviously had an effect on Parker's numbers and I see Parker having similar seasons to 2007 as long as he plays beside Dwayne Bowe.
The blogosphere's Boomer Grigsby, Sippio didn't register a catch in 2007 after playing in nine games. The vast majority of that playing time was on special teams. Sippio is an unknown at this point. Hard Knocks footage and a few YouTube clips unfortunately don't tell us much beyond what we've seen. The KC coaches, apparently, haven't been confident enough in Sippio to give him many chances. The fact that he sat on the practice squad for eight weeks, where anyone had the ability to sign him, doesn't bode well for his future as a starting wide receiver in the NFL.
Impact in 2008: Unknown at this point. I can't say I see Sippio stepping in and making an impact, especially since he didn't even get any extra looks as the Chiefs season went down the drain. The Chiefs played young linemen and running backs in the last quarter of the season but Sippio never got a shot. Adding Sippio to the active roster would increase curiosity and up the entertainment value for the Chiefs though. Right now, that's the only benefit I can say he brings. It's not that I'm not a Sippio guy -- it's that I don't have enough information to make an informed decision on his ability.
Webb enters his third season next year and is on the same path as Samie Parker -- never a burner, never a game breaker but a serviceable no. 3 wideout type. One of Webb's advantages lies in the return game, where he's been known to return punts and kickoffs. Webb actually had more receptions than Samie Parker this season. I consider them to be neck and neck for the no. 3 WR spot, depending on the availability of Eddie Kennison next year.
Impact in 2008 Webb could be replaced by a rookie or a low-level free agent who has an impressive start to training camp or the preseason. He doesn't possess any exceptional skills and, like Parker, will never produce more than 30-40 catches with Dwayne Bowe starting opposite him.
Who gets the feeling like Eddie Kennison has played his last football game? It's possible Kennison could be back, even likely. But it wouldn't come as a shock to me after a 2007 season where he couldn't stay healthy for even a short string of games if Kennison calls it quits. It's well known that Eddie would love to spend as much time with his family as possible and after a successful career, he doesn't have much left to prove. Bowe's fantastic season usurped Kennison's starting role and that will not change in 2008.
Impact in 2008: If Kennison come back and stays healthy, he would slide into the no. 2 spot behind Bowe. It's not unthinkable that Kennison could have 50+ receptions in 2008 if he plays the whole season. A veteran presence in the WR corp would be nice, seeing how Samie Parker doesn't have the reputation for being much of a leader.
Coming in second in touchdown receptions last year, Jared Allen managed to average a mean 1.5 yards per catch last year. Virtually uncoverable, each of Allen's two catches went for touchdowns, a feat no other defensive linemen in the league can boast about.
Impact in 2008: Will be on the defensive line.
Outlook for Next Year
The Chiefs would be wise to bring in some heavy competition for the wide receiver position, seeing how Webb and Parker don't have that fire underneath them. A bit of a shake-up would do some good. Parker's been hanging around at a subsistence level for far too long. He needs to at least show improvement from year to year, even if it isn't by leaps and bounds. I wouldn't advise the Chiefs to break the bank this off-season on a wideout but some judicious searching, even in the undrafted free agent arena, wouldn't do any harm.